Cuba offers 1,000 medical scholarships to Colombia peace process


March 16 2017
Source:  Granma

Cuban Ambassador to Colombia José Luis Ponce informed that the Caribbean nation will grant to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP a fund of 1,000 scholarships to study Medicine in the Island in the next five years

José Luis Ponce.jpg

Cuban Ambassador to Colombia, José Luis Ponce announced the opening of one thousand scholarships for Colombians in Cuba. Photo: Prensa Latina

BOGOTA .- Cuban Ambassador to Colombia, José Luis Ponce, informed that the Caribbean nation will grant to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP a fund of 1,000 scholarships to study Medicine in the Island in the next five years.

The Cuban diplomat made an offer to the Monitoring, Impulse and Verification Commission for the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement (CSIVI), while it was communicated in Bogotá to FARC-EP Secretariat member Iván Márquez and representatives Of the Government to the Commission.

A contribution by Cuba

Ponce explained that the distribution of the scholarships, at a rate of 200 per year -100 for the FARC-EP and 100 for the national executive- will be a contribution by Cuba to the implementation process of the Havana peace agreements and post-conflict peace in Colombia .

Students selected to receive such scholarships would begin in 2017-2018, according to Prensa Latina.

The program will be offered to young demobilized FARC-EP recruits, displaced persons, and other victims of the armed conflict, the latter chosen by the government. 

A pure gesture of humanity

The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba will provide the Colombian government and the FARC-EP with a document detailing the offer, which is being prepared by the Cuban authorities, said the diplomat of the island.

Cuba served as the venue for peace talks between the insurgency and the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos for more than four years until 2016, while – along with Norway – served as a guarantor of bilateral talks.

In his Twitter account, Márquez stressed that this contribution of Cuba to the implementation process of the Havana Agreement and post-conflict in Colombia is a pure gesture of humanity.

Thanks to Cuba

To Army General Raúl Castro (President of Cuba), our gratitude for filling Colombia with his love and solidarity and for supporting the peace process and offering doctors, added the insurgent commander.

For her part, Colombian lawyer and excongresista Piedad Córdoba thanked the gesture of Cuba.

Despite being blockaded, the Caribbean country not only has medicine that is among the best in the world, but it is also one of the most supportive, wrote the human rights defender and recognized leader of the Latin American left through his account in the social network Twitter.

Cuba’s great contribution to peace continues: it gives one thousand scholarships to government and guerrilla students, said Senator Iván Cepeda, one of the promoters of talks with the insurgency in the same social network.

One thought on “Cuba offers 1,000 medical scholarships to Colombia peace process

  1. Cuba’s offer of 1000 medical scholarships to the Colombian government and the FARC-EP is not only a gesture of solidarity and peace to the Colombian people but it is also a manifestation of the possibilities of the Cuban revolution to contribute to a sister nation’s socio-economic development.

    The Cuban leaders offer of these scholarships and their acceptance by the Colombian government and FARC-EP is a positive signal that both parties recognize the mutual complementarity that exists between peace and development in that order.

    Thus over a five year period, all other things being equal 1000 Colombians (500 selected by the government and 500 by the FARC guerillas) will go to Cuba to pursue careers in medicine. Upon the completion of their studies, these doctors will be able to return to their country and provide vitally needed medical services to potentially millions of sick and poor Colombians in many underserved rural and urban communities.

    Indeed, Cuba’s offer of these scholarships is quite consistent with its four year role as broker of peace between two avowed political enemies,namely, the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas that have been locked in a deadly war for about 50 years.

    Cuba’s role both in the peace process to have mediated a peace settlement acceptable to two decades old enemies is not only a testimony to the historic lies of US imperialism that Cuba is “an exporter of terrorism and instability” in the region but it is also a testimony to Cuba’s revolutionary commitment to the ideals of internationalism which include the fight for peace and development.

    Needless to say, Cuba recognizes the unbreakable dialectical unity between peace and development since without the former the latter is impossible. It is an uncontroversial fact that without peace, the Colombian doctors to be trained in Cuba and doctors trained in America and elsewhere cannot safely and reliably provide medical services to the sick and the latter cannot safely seek the medical services from their doctors that they need to get well.

    Indeed, without peace not only are doctors not able to safely and regularly provide their services to the sick but it is also true that other professionals such as bus drivers, engineers, cooks, pilots, factory workers, CEOs, teachers and others will not be able to safely go to work to provide the services that they are trained to provide in order to contribute to the development process in their country.

    Consequently, once again it should be very clear to anyone with eyes to see that revolutionary Cuba only exports peace and development not wars and terrorism to other parts of the region and the world.

    Cuba happily cedes that ignoble role of exporter of terrorism and wars to US imperialism which has always actively pursued them as integral tools in its foreign policy towards other countries. Indeed, Cuba has experienced for the life of its revolution, the wars of aggression and terror including biological, financial and economic wars perpetuated against it by US imperialism.

    The fact is that revolutionary Cuba is too busy training and exporting doctors, engineers, economists, agronomists, teachers, an array of technicians and other trained personnel to foster growth and development and to uproot dependent capitalism and underdevelopment in countries like Colombia. As such, revolutionary Cuba has no time to plan for wars of aggrsssion, terrorism and economic violence against sovereign nations which are designed to dominate, exploit and impose imperial policies on developing countries to keep them trapped in underdevelopment and poverty.

    Has anyone asked the following questions in the context of the theme at hand:

    Why wasn’t the US the chosen mediator of peace between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas?

    Could the US government have played the role of a honest broker between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilas? Why or Why not?

    Why doesn’t the US government provide thousand of scholarships in medicine, engineering, law, mathematics, the agricultural sciences and other areas of education to students in Colombia and other countries of South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and other developing countries like Cuba does?

    Doesn’t the US have the capacity and the resources many times more than Cuba to provide these scholarships to seriously aid growth and development in developing countries like Colombia?

    In closing, it is important that the Colombians particularly the workers, peasants, the destitute and the poor who will benefit from the services of the doctors who will receive the 1000 scholarships from the Cuban government, recognize that ultimately both they and the doctors who will serve them are beneficiaries of the Cuban revolution led by the late, unforgettable and honorable Fidel Castro.

    “They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?” Fidel Castro

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